A former Mpumalanga nurse was on Thursday sentenced to five life terms and an additional 182 years’ imprisonment after his reign of terror, which included 14 rapes and robbery.
“The High Court of South Africa, the Mpumalanga division, sitting in Middelburg, sentenced Mpho Gift Moima, 36, of Maganagobuswa in Siyabuswa, to five life terms plus 182 years’ imprisonment earlier today (Thursday),” said National Prosecuting Authority Mpumalanga provincial spokesperson Monica Nyuswa.
“This is after he pleaded guilty to 14 counts of rape, four counts of robbery with aggravating circumstances, four counts of kidnapping, three counts of pointing of a firearm, one count of attempted murder and one count of sexual assault.”
Moima was employed as a nurse at the Mpumalanga Department of Health’s Kgobokwane Clinic.
“All the crimes were committed between February and March 2018 in different areas of Siyabuswa. Moima would target women walking on the street during late hours, force them into his vehicle at gunpoint, drive with them to the bushes and forcefully rape them.
“’Five of the 14 victims were minors during the time of the incident,” said Nyuswa.
In one incident, Nyuswa said in February 2018 Moima drove with three victims from Woolkraal RDP houses to a bush at Oorlog.
“He instructed them to undress themselves and raped them one by one. He would sometimes rob his victims of their belongings, like cellphones and cash.
’’Some were assaulted and repeatedly raped by Moima,” said Nyuswa.
“He was arrested after the police followed information about a cellphone that was robbed from one of the victims. Buccal swabs were taken and linked Moima to other crimes.”
In court, Moima changed his plea to guilty as the evidence against him was “overwhelming”.
“In aggravation of sentence, prosecutor advocate Eric Sihlangu led testimonies of several victims. Victim impact reports indicated how the rapes affected their lives and medical reports were also handed in,” said Nyuswa.
She said Sihlangu reminded the court of the huge outcry by South African society regarding the pervasiveness of gender-based violence. Sihlangu asked for a stiffer penalty, to deter would-be offenders.
“The court sentenced Moima to five life sentences in respect of each count of minor victims, 10 years’ imprisonment on each count of adult victims, 15 years’ imprisonment on each count of robbery with aggravating circumstances, five years’ imprisonment on each count of kidnapping, two years’ imprisonment on each count of pointing of a firearm, six years’ (imprisonment) for attempted murder and another five years’ imprisonment for sexual assault,” said Nyuswa.
The court further ordered that Moima’s name be entered into the national register for sex offenders, and he was declared unfit to possess a firearm.
Acting Mpumalanga director of public prosecutions advocate Matric Luphondo attributed the hefty sentence to the collaborative efforts of South Africa’s justice cluster in maintaining law and order and their pursuit of justice on behalf of victims of gender-based violence.